NGD: Caprice Redwood Hollowbody [Vik Content]

Discussion in 'Standard Guitars' started by narad, Dec 2, 2017.

  1. narad

    narad SS.org Regular

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    Man, no puns come to mind for the thread title :-/

    NGD #2 for today and probably my last for quiiiite some time. So I've been longing for a hollowbody for quite some time but I'm not so happy with the set of candidates there. I was mostly looking at PRS PS or wood library hollowbodies (my preference, but rare to find with good specs), Collings I-35s, or a Briggs Pandora. If you have any other recommendations that are top rate and look cool too, drop me a line.

    But for now, I think I'm set -- I just grabbed this Vik Caprice Hollowbody with a sick redwood top. And the funny thing about this one is that when Vik and I were arguing about my 3 build spots with him, and he decided to cancel 2, and demote my fretboard to IRW instead of BRW, the redwood he set aside for one of my orders wound up on this, and so it seems did the BRW board! Ha!

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    So it has an IRW neck, BRW board, and BKP mules. Really beautiful top and stain -- I was gawking at it when Vik was building it (not for me -- I bought it used last week, and weirdly now have a strandberg that's going to look very similar...). It seems like he chose a bit more premium woods than my savior -- the binding is noticiably stronger and more uniform flames, and the rosewood is a nicer grade.

    I've heard that people with good taste have said Vik's other caprice hollowbodies were really fantastically good sounding guitars. I think it's quite good sounding -- far more hollowbody than I would have thought given such a small perimeter compared to a 355. It can feed back a bit, brash and unruly, but very musical and fun. The neck is also much thicker than other Vik guitars I've played, in a good way (though his 7-string neck is also a fav).

    The thing about Viks though is that while I look at these photos and the ones of this Vik posted and they're stunning, as far as craftsmanship goes, it doesn't hold up in the details. There's gaps when the binding goes over sharp angles, the inside of the f-hole is a bit rough, the neck join, while technically fine, just doesn't have the precision of other boutique builders (where the top meets the neck). The same is true of my savior, and other Viks I've seen. Maybe this is because he's still doing it all mostly by hand whereas other guys use CNC, so Vik's handmade is a bit more truly handmade than a lot of other boutique shops. But ultimately to think that some people are paying $6k-8k for some Viks, I think you'd expect a better executed build.

    But I'm quite happy with it -- Vik's wins are with good design and crazy woods, and he delivered on this one as much as my savior, which I also dig. And it scratches my hollowbody itch. But I think this is my last one. In contrast, Collings *kills* it with quality, and I-35s are ~$4k, and they're outstanding people. PRS PS, a bit more expensive, but still great people and superb quality. Meanwhile on Vik's facebook I see the same guy posting on every one of his posts asking for an update of his build, paid in full, from a few years ago. I think it's hard to support and basically enable Vik to continue to ignore guys like that.

    This thing's a smudge magnet though -- didn't realize the extent until I had the photos on the computer:

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  2. FitRocker33

    FitRocker33 My tone is tighter than my hamstrings

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    Wowwwwwwwww that is a STUNNING guitar
     
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  3. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire 8 string hoarder

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    i was thinking about moving a couple of guitars to get a vik used but hearing that they're not actually built that well (for a 4-6k guitar) gives me pause. HNGD, enjoy it, it looks fantastic.
     
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  4. narad

    narad SS.org Regular

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    Depends on what your alternatives are, but yea, typically the people saying they're super amazing are the people that are selling them. Like my J-custom was better made than both my Viks. And you would almost never know from the photos, because they're both stunning to look at. It's like misdirection!
     
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  5. xzacx

    xzacx SS.org Regular

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    Super cool top on this!

    As far as other options; Nik Huber’s Reitbergen is a killer design IMO - never played one, but I’ve played and owned a handful of his other models and have no reason to believe it wouldn’t be spectacular in every way. I’ve seen a couple go for pretty reasonable prices used too. My favorite though that I’ve played was a Gustavsson Dotmaster - such a perfect size - considerably more expensive too unfortunately haha.
     
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  6. Nlelith

    Nlelith SS.org Regular

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    Absolutely stellar guitar. HNGD!
     
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  7. nedheftyfunk

    nedheftyfunk SS.org Regular

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    Congratulations on yet another spectacular, special guitar.

    It's a few steps down from the guitars you listed, but I have a Music Man Axis Semi-Hollow that I got in 2015 and really, really like. It lacks those extra-special drool-worthy flourishes your boutique instruments have, such as the figured maple neck binding. But built quality, wood choice, fit and finish are superb (with the exception of inside the "f"-hole) and let us not mention that one other boon: with MM you know your money won't disappear into a multi-year black hole...
     
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  8. Lemonbaby

    Lemonbaby SS.org Regular

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    Happy NGD, that's a nice one piece top. Don't worry about some minor imperfections in the detail. I've seen those even on guitars of the most famous custom guitar shops...
     
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  9. vansinn

    vansinn ShredNeck into Beck

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    I really love the looks of this one, very stylish :agreed:
    Gold plated hardware is a total fit to those woods.
    The low string saddle looks like it could scratch the skin when palm muting. Wrong?
    Could we have a few sound clips, pretty please..?

    Now, a seven string version would be real sex to me ;)
     
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  10. Lorcan Ward

    Lorcan Ward 7slinger Contributor

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    Happy NGD!!!

    Thats hilarious about ending up the woods you picked out. I've always kept a look out for the Ziricote top that was for my second build.
     
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  11. narad

    narad SS.org Regular

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    Ah yea -- both good options. I was looking at a Reitbergen for a while and agree - have seen them come down into the $7k with figured front/back. And I've got a Gustavsson Bluesmaster already or that would have been on the list -- don't like to have that much money sunk into a single brand :)


    Cool - will check it out! There's a vid of Misha checking out one of these and commenting that the neck is very EBMM (Axis, IIRC).

    Eh, because I've never seen it on a Huber, Hartung, Navigator, Blackmachine (Feline), Artinger, Gustavsson, Ken Lawrence, J-custom, Sugi, Daemoness, PRS (artist/wl/ps level), etc, I'm willing to call it a systematic lack of precision.

    That might appeal to someone -- if you like the imperfections of handmade things. Like "oh, one leg is slightly longer on my table so it doesn't balance properly. How quaint! How charming!" Not what I want at used PRS PS prices.

    Doesn't seem to scratch the skin -- hadn't really noticed at all, quite comfortable actually. But ya, no plan on clips anytime soon unless Santa's generous with recording equipment.
     
  12. narad

    narad SS.org Regular

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    Forgot to mention the case this came it was fucking abysmal. While a sturdy flight case in its own right, the foam was not custom fitted at all, the chunk taken out for the neck is not deep enough, and just turning the case sideways (as you do when ..you know...carrying it around) is enough for it to slip out and bounce around.

    I mentioned that I didn't like flight cases and I thought I'd want to get a custom case that was more snug, and then the seller kind of agreed -- but he didn't mention this up front. I could have easily bought it and just discovered this upon delivery and would *not* have been happy. Even then, I didn't realize it would be basically unusable without extra packing in there :-/ And Vik sent it out like this! My savior came in a generic gator case that also allowed it to bounce around -- so I gave that case away and put it in a scott dixon triple row now. But just more reason to beware, people.
     
  13. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire 8 string hoarder

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    blech, at that price range I'm expecting a lot. in that case I think I'll just keep holding out for a waghorn/daemoness.
     
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  14. nedheftyfunk

    nedheftyfunk SS.org Regular

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    Oh yeah, I should have fessed up about that. Misha was telling the truth: it's both a narrow and deep neck, much the same as every other Axis I've ever had my hands on.
     
  15. Lemonbaby

    Lemonbaby SS.org Regular

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    Can't comment on many of those, but I've definitely seen J-Customs, Hubers and Core PRS models that had minor issues. However, that scratched line at the neck/top joint of yours looks a little strange indeed...
     

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